Iran FM: Afghans in Syria Not There on Iran’s Behalf

Says 2,000 Afghans still fighting in Syria

In an interview, Iranian FM Javad Zarif discussed Afghan volunteers fighting against ISIS in Syria. He estimated there to be about 2,000 of them.

Despite US narratives dubbing all Shi’ites in Syria “Iranians,” Zarif wanted to be clear that the Afghans volunteered and weren’t ordered there in any way by Iran.

Zarif said the war is effectively over, and most Afghans have returned home. He estimated 5,000 Afghans were present at the height of the war.

Sectarian tensions led a lot of Shi’ite groups to Syria to fight ISIS, including from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. ISIS fighters similarly flocked to the region from around the world.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of